it'll cost ya!

Austin among 12 U.S. cities with the highest increase in cost of living, report says

Austin among 12 U.S. cities with highest increase in cost of living

Money stacked next to a house
Ausitn's cost of living has consistently ticked up alongside its housing costs. Photo by Sawitree Pamee/EyeEm, Getty Images

The period from 2010 to 2020 was not kind to the wallets of people in Austin, with locals likely having to pinch more pennies than ever.

Among major U.S. metro areas, the Capital City saw the 12th biggest increase in the cost of living from 2010 to 2020, according to a new analysis of federal data by Filterbuy. During that 10-year span, the cost of living in Austin rose 17.8 percent, the analysis shows.

The Seattle metro area led major metros with a 23.2 percent jump in the cost of living from 2010 to 2020.

Here’s a further breakdown of the numbers for the Austin metro:

  • Overall cost of living compared with the average — 1.8 percent higher.
  • Cost of goods compared with the average — 2.6 percent lower.
  • Cost of housing compared with the average — 20.7 percent higher.
  • Cost of utilities compared with the average — 13.4 percent higher.

Despite those figures — and the metro area’s median home price for December 2021 surging to $476,700 — Austin remains a more affordable alternative to places like New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Because of that relative affordability, experts expect more people and companies — particularly those from higher-priced, larger markets — to keep relocating to Austin. The more the city grows, it’s likely the cost of living will continue to creep up.

“In 2021, the record number of homes sold were demand-driven transactions, and that demand was influenced greatly by companies continuing to target the region for job creation and expansion,” says Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title.

Three other places in Texas made Filterbuy’s top 30 for the steepest rises in the cost of living among major metros:

  • In the 8th-ranked Dallas-Fort Worth area, the cost of living grew 20.3 percent from 2010 to 2020.
  • In the 14th-ranked San Antonio area, the cost of living grew 17.4 percent from 2010 to 2020.
  • In the 28th-ranked Houston area, the cost of living increased 14.9 percent from 2010 to 2020.